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Frequently Asked Questions

About ERSU

Admissions

Educational Format

ERSU’s Theological Position


About ERSU


How are you supported?

Students study for free in ERSU at present, since most of our support is provided by western missions, and our permanent academic staff provide their own support. We do need other supporters and coworkers, however, in order to expand our vision of providing high-quality Reformed theological education in Eastern Europe and beyond.


Do you welcome short-term mission teams and visitors?

We certainly welcome visitors! We are glad for people to come see what we are doing up-close, which also provides our students with valued contact with other Believers. We do not have needs at present for short-term work teams, but a trip to work with churches in Ukraine can be coupled with a visit to our intensive classes, if properly scheduled. We have also had students from other universities and seminaries come to visit, as well as pastors and professors from other institutions. We are also sometimes able to schedule a special evening with an esteemed guest to share his experience with the students.


What are the main goals of ERSU?

Although we are supported by western missions, we hope over time to see ERSU become more self-supporting financially, staffed with more Ukrainian nationals, and widening its reach in the region and even throughout the Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking world.


How can we help?

We need financial supporters and quality students. We welcome applications from the contacts of others – even from pastors who already have experience in ministry and other theological education but are seeking a high-quality Reformed theological education.



Admissions


Who can enroll in ERSU seminary?

See our student admissions criteria here.


What is involved in the ERSU seminary Admissions process?

Click here to see the student enrollment page.


How much does it cost to study in ERSU?

Study in ERSU seminary is presently free, although students are required to provide their own transportation to the seminary and tutorial sessions. There are no student stipends; a student is expected to provide for himself and his family or to have the support of his church or sponsors. ERSU will provide the main required textbooks and room and board at the 8 yearly week-long sessions held at the sanitorium in Kyiv.


Why is a pastor’s recommendation necessary for entry into ERSU?

First, this helps us to know more of the student's potential. Secondly, our educational philosophy requires that the student should put into practice the knowledge he is gaining in seminary. This means that the student’s “home” church should be prepared to provide opportunities for our students to fulfill this practical service in the church. Third, ERSU exists to serve the church, especially in the preparation of pastors, and our students should always be active in this service. Pastors themselves should also be aware of such potential leaders and should help actively in their preparation and training.


Can I also study in the seminary if I live outside of Ukraine?

Yes, but it is still necessary to travel often to Kyiv to attend the intensive class sessions and tutorials. We hope that our growing online program will eventually eliminate some of this travel, but we believe that face-to-face discipleship and fellowship with other students are important elements in the formation of pastors and church servants.


Are all of your students male, or do you also accept women as students?

We also accept women who have defined specific training goals. Click here to see our conditions of acceptance.



Educational Format


How many times a year must the seminary students be present in Kiev?

Eight weeks per year in intensive lectures (September, January, June – one two-week session each; October and March – one week). Tutorials will be scheduled as needed, and in consultation between teachers and students. See more detailed information here.


Who are the seminary lecturers?

The professors normally come from seminaries and universities in the USA, Netherlands, and other countries. Some lectures are given by local professors. See more detailed information about our academic staff here.


If the majority of seminary lectures are given in English, do I need to know English in order to study?

No, all lectures of foreign professors are translated into Russian or (less frequently) Ukrainian language.


May I study through the distance learning program without attending seminary sessions and tutorials?

No. ERSU seminary students may only complete a maximum of one third of their courses by extension. A complete distance learning program is in our plans, but it will not be operational in the near future.


What is the benefit of having an ERSU diploma?

We do not emphasize the value of our diploma per se. A diploma is formally required by those who want to become pastors in some Presbyterian and Reformed churches. The Ukrainian government does not formally recognize our diplomas. But we offer a Reformed theological education that equips our students on the graduate level. Some of our students have been accepted for further study by educational institutions in the West.


After receiving an ERSU diploma, may I continue studying in the West?

Our diplomas are not formally recognized in Western seminaries and universities, but we maintain very good connections with several institutions in the West, so we are able to offer the possibility to some of our best students to study there.



ERSU’s Theological Position


From what viewpoint is teaching presented -- from a neutral position?

Our goal is not only to give the most objective presentation of existing points of view on various issues. We want to see the personal growth of the student as a minister of Christ and the development of his own theological position. So we do not hide that our own teaching comes from a very defined theological perspective. We openly hold to Reformed theology. But that does not mean that other positions are ignored or presented in a false light.


What exactly is Reformed theology?

Formally and personally, we hold to the historical standards of the Reformed faith: the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, and the Belgic Confession. You can become more acquainted with the main principles of Reformed theology here.


Are people allowed to study in the seminary who do not hold to this Reformed viewpoint?

Yes. Students from other denominations and students with other goals are warmly welcomed and will be accepted in so far as there is space available in the program (and there usually is). We accept students who are not fully in agreement with the doctrinal position of the seminary. But they must respect the position and goals of the seminary and not proselytize or be disruptive in presenting their own views. Once accepted, all students will receive equal treatment and be held to the same standards. Students are not required to hold to Reformed theology for acceptance or graduation, although they must come to understand this viewpoint and be able to articulate its rational and biblical arguments.


From what denominations do the students of ERSU come?

ERSU was founded with the goal of preparing ministers for the Evangelical Presbyterian Churches of Ukraine (EPCU) and the Ukrainian Evangelical Reformed Churches (UERC), but we also have students from many other denominations.